Direct Observation Form

Name of the tool:


What the result will look like:

A written on-the-spot account of the clown vist

Description of the tool:

This tool is a checklist to assess conditions and reactions of participants observed during a clowning visit.

Observers attend a clown visit in person and fill in a standard form organized into 5 major areas in which clowning is expected to have an effect on participants: mood, stress, attention, physical behaviour and connection. Observers are asked to note each unique instance of a positive change in the effect area, and to provide a brief description of the change observed. They were also encouraged to review the results with a caregiver or someone who know the participants well in order to validate and interpret what occurred during the session.

When it can be used:

The tool can be used to understand the effects of clowning for participants (people with dementia, children with autism etc.)

Who it’s useful for:

The clowns can use the observations to understand the effects of the visits and adapt their interventions.

The project team / organisation can process a greater set of data (if there is a systematic collection of the observation forms) to create evidence of the effects of the interventions.

Length of process:

This is a one-off tool that takes about 15 minuted to fill in. To extract deeper learning, it needs to be repeated and time should be allotted for processing the data.

Main features - advantages:

It is time considerate.

The prompts facilitate more openess to notice and capture effects of a visit.

Main features - disadvantages:

The data collected depends on the training and orientation of observers.

Guidelines for implementation:

Explain the purpose of the tool.
It is important to emphasize that the form is not an evaluation of clown performance.

Make sure there is a common understanding of the concepts.

Validate the assumptions.
Encourage observers to validate the information with caregivers.

Tool in practice:

In ClowNexus, this tool was used during the evaluation, both at the beginning of the project and as part of the final evaluation, to understand the effects of clowning and what changes can be observed in time at the level of immediate effects.

Origin of the tool:

This tool was developed in the ClowNexus project.